Atletico stumble, Ronaldo defiant and PSG unsettled: European speaking factors


Atletico Madrid dropped extra factors in pursuit of La Liga glory, Cristiano Ronaldo hit again at detractors with an ideal hat-trick and Inter Milan refused to buckle in Serie A. In the meantime PSG got here unstuck after off-pitch worries.

AFP Sport rounds up a number of the foremost speaking factors from the weekend’s motion throughout the continent:

– Atletico underneath menace in Spain –

A second Spanish title in seven years heading Atletico’s manner with a snug double-digit hole on the prime going into February, however Saturday’s 0-0 draw at 10-man Getafe meant Diego Simeone’s group dropped factors for the fifth time in eight video games.

“We did every little thing we may however the ball would not go in. We’ve got to take a degree,” stated goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

“It was the sport I anticipated,” stated Simeone. “A degree continues to be a step forwards.”

Barcelona may minimize the benefit to 4 factors with victory over backside aspect Huesca afterward Monday. Ronald Koeman’s males are unbeaten in 16 in La Liga and have received 10 of their final 11 matches.

– Sensible Benzema bails out Madrid –

Karim Benzema, whose late equaliser towards Atletico final weekend saved Actual Madrid in contact, rescued the defending champions as soon as extra with two late objectives in a 2-1 victory over strugglers Elche.

The French striker levelled with 17 minutes left after which drilled residence a superb winner in stoppage time, hitting 15 league objectives for the season as he scored for the fourth recreation in a row.

Actual are six factors behind Atletico and face Atalanta on Tuesday within the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Zinedine Zidane’s aspect host Barcelona in La Liga on April 11.

– Ronaldo riposte after European heartache –

Days after Juventus crashed out of the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo answered again on the critics with an ideal hat-trick within the first half of a 3-1 victory at Cagliari.

Ronaldo’s 57th treble — and second quickest, in 32 minutes — took his profession objectives tally to 770, drawing congratulations from Brazil nice Pele for eclipsing his mark of 767 in official matches.

The Portuguese star bore a lot of the brunt for Juve’s exit within the final 16 to Porto. He has netted a mixed 14 occasions in three seasons with Juventus in Europe, one fewer than in his closing marketing campaign with Actual Madrid (15).

– Conte’s Inter grinding out wins –

With no European commitments within the second half of the season, Inter are marching in direction of a primary Serie A crown since Jose Mourinho led the membership to the treble in 2010.

Antonio Conte’s strike pressure of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez has provided a lot of the ammunition for the league’s prime scorers, and the pair have been each on course in a 2-1 win at Torino regardless of the absence of their coach.

“Victories like these are essential,” stated Inter assistant Cristian Stellini, deputising for Conte who was serving a touchline ban.

Inter have received eight on the bounce and lead AC Milan by 9 factors. Juve are one other level again in third however with a recreation in hand.

– Off-pitch troubles disrupt PSG –

After watching title rivals Lille and Lyon each draw, the go to of relegation-threatened Nantes offered Paris Saint-Germain with the chance to take management in Ligue 1.

Nevertheless Nantes, revived for the reason that appointment of former PSG coach Antoine Kombouare because the successor to Raymond Domenech, fought again with second-half objectives to inflict a second successive residence loss on the reigning champions.

Extra unsettling than back-to-back residence defeats for the primary time since 2012 was information of a theft on the residence of Angel Di Maria, who signed a one-year extension 48 hours earlier, and a break-in at a home belonging to Marquinhos’ household.

Di Maria, visibly upset, was substituted on the hour and PSG gave the impression to be affected by the commotion as they succumbed to a seventh defeat of the season.

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